We focus too much on what we do not have that the seemingly perfect people have and lead ourselves into depths of misery, anguish and pain.
Take a look at the following scenarios:
You walk into a room (literal or figurative) and everything about it (including the air) intimidates you; your weaknesses, inadequacies and lack of exposure becomes exposed so much so that shame and guilt embrace you. You begin to ask yourself where you were when your mates were doing great things. “Why can’t I command this level of success?” You may say. Then the reality of you not being properly equipped set in. You begin to tell yourself “if only I had this and that like these people, I’d have been able to do this and that.”
Then pain sets in. “Why did I come here?” you ask yourself, “Why do I have to meet or work with these people?” your mind quips. “Everyone looks better and happier than me,” you tell yourself.
Your focus is now on what you do not have (that other people have), and you forget what you have that can be used to make a positive difference in your life. You forget that the individual that has an edge over you was not born that way and that through learning you can be better than you were yesterday.
Imagine dressing up for an event; your outfit, shoe game, hairdo, makeup/grooming and all other personal brand-enhancing boxes are ticked and you walk into the venue heads up and shoulders raised, everyone looking at you and smiling. Suddenly you find out that your outfit has a tear at a very conspicuous spot. Damn!
The moment you realise this, all sense of pride gives way to shame and pain. Even if no one saw the tear in the first place, after that moment of realisation, you begin to feel you are in the spotlight with thousands of eyeballs fixed on that spot.
All other ‘perfect’ aspects of your dressing no longer matter, only the recently discovered imperfection, and this messes up your other plans. You become stuck in that point, wallowing in the pain of not being able to get just that one thing right because you are surrounded with people who have gotten it right and that intimidates you.
Firstly, the only focus you should give to your inadequacies or weaknesses is to find ways to turn them to strengths. We must understand that Usain Bolt was once taught how to walk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was not born with her writing skills embedded in her, and that there was a time Anthony Joshua could not knock out a fly.
Secondly, you do not need to be around people who intentionally point out your inadequacies in a scornful manner just to intimidate you. Take the lessons and leave. Not even learning should make you give up your personal happiness especially when there are other avenues to learn and be happy at the same time.
Do you have a similar experience to the scenarios described above? Share with us and tell us how you handled it and the lessons learned.
Read older articles in this column HERE.